“Guest” post from Lisa on the blog today. Enjoy! :-)
Last Fall I went on a field trip with my son’s class to a local farm (la Ferme d’André in Ormstown Quebec) where the kids had hands-on access to all the wonderful animals. As a group of grade 2-3 boys were brushing the alpacas, llamas and sheep, and collecting the fleece in their pockets they turned to me and asked if they could knit with their harvest. Without thinking of all the work that would lie ahead I enthusiastically said “of course”, thus launching us into a journey of discovering how to prepare very dirty fleece for knitting!
I engaged the help of two other mothers who had just a little more experience than myself to participate in this wool project, and alongside these 5 boys we learned how to wash, card, spin and dye the fleece that they collected from the farm!
When my son was in kindergarten I introduced the class to finger and loom knitting and as he moved into grade , knitting with needles was the next step. Since my son attends an alternative school with multi-age classes, it was wonderful to see the older students teach and encourage the younger ones. Soon enough everyone wanted to knit on circular needles and for the school fair the students made hats, scarves, pompoms, carpets, pouches, purses and pencil cases to sell! They even made a bunting as a class project during the school wide knitting day, a day conceived by the school’s children’s committee!
Knitting now has a permanent place in his class (grade 1, 2, 3) as his teacher Sylvie has declared their class as “a class that knits”, and during the morning and afternoon “circle time” students are allowed to exercise their craft.
As I have shared my experiences of knitting in the classroom with teachers who pop into the store, many express how knitting and crochet has really helped their students with their concentration, patience, goal setting, dexterity, and logic. For classrooms where knitting and crochet are encouraged, the atmosphere seems to be one of creativity, helpfulness and mutual respect, where students experience the joy of learning and sharing new skills and the pride of accomplishment!